electricland: (Default)
My dad called this morning to say M is doing better. Boyfriend has heard the awful news and was great, likewise her parents. So that's good.

I forgot to mention in my previous post, but the last time I saw Sam he also peed on my living room rug (brat). After they'd left Jen said "He's very sweet, but he kind of looks like a Fraggle." Which is true - his ears were tufty and stuck out sideways. Apparently you sometimes have to tape terriers' ears down for a while so they'll fall right? SO BIZARRE.

(Not sure if that was done to Himself or not, but his ears are lovely.)

Only a little bit goofy
electricland: (Default)
My uncle writes:

Your doggies are sweet...

When Robin brought them over this morning, she warned me that they were (surprise!) wet, so I cleverly closed the bedroom doors to protect the beds, and went to the computer.

A few minutes later, Tilde came upstairs, started scratching industriously at my bedroom door, and waited for me to open it when I came out of the study. When instead I took a towel out of the cupboard, she rolled over onto her back, waved her paws in the air, and cooperated completely in my efforts to dry her off.

Next thing I knew, there was Blue, nuzzling my shoulder, and wanting the same treatment. Of course, a little tug-of-war with the towel was part of that experience...

Now they're both sacked out on the floor, snoozing.

Sadly, no picture (yet).

Hmph.

Dec. 27th, 2011 05:37 pm
electricland: (Default)
We left the dogs at home for a couple of hours, which in most households is perfectly fine, but came back to find Tilde had made her way upstairs and expressed her disapproval in rather biological terms. Sigh.

Blue didn't eat anything he shouldn't though!
electricland: (Blue in snow)
Did I ever show you Blue's crowning achievement of destruction? Here it is:

Photobucket
electricland: (Blue in snow)
It could be awesome. Or the motion-capture could make it really creepy. I just watched the trailer and am no closer to deciding. As you know if you follow me on Twitter, I am concerned about Snowy/Milou though.

@electricland Passer-by, seeing my dog: "He's like a big version of a Tintin dog!" Perfectly true.
@electricland Am in a position to state w. authority that Hergé really knew his terriers.

(Seriously, if you live w/ a terrier and start reading the Tintin books, or rereading in my case, you spend a lot of time going "OMG my dog does that!")

Here's a close-up.

Pros: Posture good. Movement may be good, too soon to tell. Ears and big black nose quite true to life. Eyes: DEAR GOD TERRIFYING. Mouth: Too far from nose. That could be the real problem.

For comparison purposes, have a cute picture of my dog, who is bigger and a different colour but otherwise, well, a terrier, there is a reason terrier people aren't quite like other dog people:

Owly Images

See? The nose is very similar but the mouth is much closer to the nose and the overall effect, although I may be biased, is much nicer. (For example, the eyes are not filled with the light of hellfire. Well, usually.) Dear Tintin artists: I bet there are loads and loads of people who would have let you come and watch their wire-haired fox terriers for a day and take image reference.
electricland: (Blue in snow)
The neighbours' cat is fine, thank goodness.

My dog's one virtue as an attempted cat-murderer is his inefficiency -- he seems to have no idea how to go about it, beyond terrifying speed and a lot of growling. I do not wish him to improve, terrier heritage be damned. His predecessor, Brandy, killed to my knowledge one woodchuck (I think? some midsize rodent, anyway) and one sick raccoon. She was alarmingly good at it. Luckily she never had much chance to go after cats, or possibly we discouraged her enough as a puppy. Blue seems to hate cats with a fiery passion and this is the third he's gotten scarily close to in as many weeks.

I need to get him a harness for walks (anyone have any suggestions for good brands?) and not let him through the back gate, ever. What happened was a friend returned Jen's car while Blue and I were in the back yard assembling the new barbecue* so I opened the gate to say Hi and get the key. I didn't spot the cat, who only goes out on a leash as she is minus her front claws; I think she was behind a bush. Blue had no such problems and the next thing I knew was in the bush growling ferociously; canine-feline free-for-all ensued, I completely failed to catch him, cat slipped her collar and ran for the door, door was closed, cat ran the other way and up onto a neighbour's garage. I hoped this meant she wasn't seriously injured but couldn't actually tell. Blue spent the rest of the evening and this morning in disgrace and I spent them fretting.

Anyway, went over this evening with some kitty treats and a catnip duckling/octopus thingy and a card (strangely nobody seems to make a "sorry my dog tried to eat your cat" card, although you'd think that would be a popular item in areas like mine) and learned the cat is fine. Neighbour does not appear to bear a grudge, which is kind, because: awkward.

How are you all?

*New barbecue yay!
electricland: (Default)
Plans to Get Life in Order postponed owing to presence of dog on foot. Darn. Here, have a picture from last year:

sorry, a bit big )
electricland: (Blue)
Yesterday the monster got into the bathroom garbage and strewed it all over the house. Jen warned me of this when I got home, so the ghastly sight that met me on the second floor wasn't totally unexpected. But ICK. (The bathroom door is shut today.)

The little brat KNEW I wasn't pleased, too -- he didn't follow me upstairs, so I got the full glory to myself. Sadly, I failed to give him a very stern look because it's impossible to be stern with your dog for long when he's under the dining table, gazing up from under the tablecloth which is forming a wimple, and wagging madly.

In unrelated news, my new favourite blog is The Happiness Project.
electricland: (Blue)
The vet is going to start thinking I'm an unfit owner... just got a call from them, AGAIN, to say that someone found my little escape artist brat in the ravine, AGAIN. (He never goes far.) The person in question lives across the street and up from my uncle, and one of her kids went to school with Jen. It is a small world.

Wonder how he got out this time, though?
electricland: (Blue)
Picked him up at the vet clinic after work yesterday, complete with very fetching hot pink pressure bandage on one leg (over the IV site) and identity collar, plus prescription low-fat food and antibiotics. He's a little subdued still, but definitely much better. No recurrence of the awful symptoms so far, thank goodness! Rest and squishy food for the next few days, and we'll hope that's the end of it (this time... cue ominous music). Very nice to have him home. I had missed him! He seemed happy to see me too. The vet tech assured me that he'd been very good and relinquished the IV without a struggle.

Am really going to have to look into vet insurance. Yeesh.
electricland: (Blue)
He spent last night at the emergency vet clinic following an early-morning gastrointestinal upset too revolting to post.* He'd been off-colour for a couple of days, but naturally Sunday (when my regular vet is closed) was the day he chose to produce the really spectacular symptoms. He was a bit dehydrated, so I left him there for rehydration and blood work (just in case it was one of the less likely but more ominous options, such as pancreatitis or poison) at vast expense to the management. According to the vet I spoke to today, he is much better, also (I quote) "a lovely dog, very active, which makes physical exams a challenge because he's a moving object. But a lovely dog." And he's been eating, no problem so far.

*although of course I will if anyone really wants to know, because my life is ALL about the revolting symptoms!

eeeek!

Nov. 6th, 2008 01:47 pm
electricland: (Blue)
*ring ring*

Cellphone: It's the vet.
Me: Hello?
Vet's office: Hello, is this ELL?
Me: Yes?
Vet's office: Are you missing Blue?
Me: Um... I don't think so, but I left him at my aunt and uncle's today, so I guess I could be...
Vet's office: Because we have him here. Someone brought him in. Apparently he was wandering around in the ravine.
Me: Yikes! Thank you!

(I called my uncle, who had no idea he was missing -- he must've snuck out the back fence somehow. This is not the first time he's done this. GAH, but happy ending at least!)
electricland: (Blue)
Blue is pretty much back to his bouncy bratty self. Hurray! I am still giving him half a can of the fancy dog food with each meal -- he's quite good at the "oh no, I am a frail and delicate creature, I can't POSSIBLY eat just plain kibble" scam -- and we have four days of antibiotics left. But he is running around and playing with balls and chewies and jumping up on me and generally not looking at all like the pathetic little scrap of misery he was on Wednesday. Yay, antibiotics!

plague!

Oct. 15th, 2008 08:15 pm
electricland: (Blue)
Young Blue has been back and forth to the vet more than I like the last couple of weeks. long, and canine veterinary TMI )

I got his pill (well, pill fragments -- I now have to give him 3/4 of a pill, which is a pain) and a couple of bites of wet dog food down him when we got home; then he napped for a bit, and had the rest of the can of dog food about an hour later. He actually seems a lot perkier already, so fingers crossed! Will try him on another can before bed.

The fun part is that we are ALL sick: me, Jen, Tilde, Blue. Tilde and I probably sound healthiest; I'm definitely on the mend, and Tilde has been on antibiotics anyway so may have dodged the worst of it. Sigh.
electricland: (Blue)
Sent Blue out for his last trip of the evening to the back yard just after 11 last night. He puttered around, came back, then shot out again; we heard some clanging and swearing (no lights back there yet) and then he shot back in making funny noises. Jen said "What's in his mouth?" He'd taken refuge under her desk, so I went to look, and immediately realized he'd been hit by a skunk at point-blank range. He was foaming at the mouth and sitting hunched over and miserable and the smell was indescribable.

Naturally I failed to grab him in time and he took off upstairs, pausing to drip skunk-laden drool on every rug. I left him be for a bit and called the vet emergency clinic (who said "It's not toxic to them, it's just an irritant -- try to flush out his mouth with water"). Jen meanwhile called her parents, who Googled. The top home remedy, peroxide and baking soda and dish detergent, seemed a little toxic for use on an animal, and in any case we didn't have any peroxide. Second choice, for animals' faces, was over-the-counter vaginal douche (who knew?) but we didn't have any of that either. So we wrestled him into the bath (after a brief and unsuccessful interlude with the kitchen sink) and did our best to flush his mouth using a turkey baster and lots of water (never have I so wished for a flexible showerhead).

Eventually we had to stop because he was looking so miserable it seemed cruel to go on. John arrived to help with a bit of cleaning and collect Jen and Tilde, whose bedroom is right next to Ground Zero and who therefore needed somewhere else to sleep. I mopped my floors and bagged all potentially contaminated clothes and towels and turned on all the extractor fans in the house and then, as it was by this time getting on for 1 a.m., decided to go to sleep and deal with the rest in the morning. It seemed like a good use of a personal day.

In the morning the smell didn't seem too bad, but the trouble is you become habituated to the stuff quite quickly in self-defence. I leaned over and discovered Blue sleeping by the foot of my bed, and when I got close to him he still smelled vile, so OK, more work needed. I took him for our usual walk and when I got back John and Helen and Jen and Tilde were preparing to come over for a massive cleaning blitz (Jen had realized as they drove away in the car that in no way had she and Tilde escaped the stench just by leaving the house).

Anyway, we cleaned the dog and the house and ourselves all morning, and I have done tons of laundry and showered and I bet I still smell of skunk without realizing it, but thank goodness for family. Himself has managed to wrench his back leg -- all that struggling out of bathtubs, I bet -- but it doesn't seem too bad; I'll watch it for a day or so before taking him to the vet.

So! How are you all?

miscellany

Jul. 8th, 2008 09:27 pm
electricland: (Blue)
1. Guess who dug in someone's bag and stole and ate an entire plastic baggie full of ham at the dog park today? Go on, guess. You'll never guess. (Yes, he ate the baggie too. I'm expecting to see it again at some point.) Gotta work on that "drop" command. Now, mind you, the owner of the bag let him stand on her and snuffle around in the bag for a good 15 seconds -- she said "It was shoved right down in there! I didn't think he'd get it!" Um, yeah. This is why I don't let dogs near my bag. ;)

2. Via Uncertain Principles, my new favourite scientific article of all time (there's a PDF link).

Fortunately, a live presentation of the results was also captured on video.

3. This is an extremely dangerous website for me. *cough*

4. It is chucking down rain here, and our basement is a bit damp.
electricland: (Blue)
Blue & Tilde
"Hey baby, guess what?"
"What?"
"John and Helen are going out later, but I happen to know that Jen will be coming by to feed us."
"So?"
"Pay attention. This is the plan. We eat all our kibble, and then when John and Helen come back, we look really pathetic and frantic."
"And?"
"And Helen will feed us again."
"Will she really fall for that?"
"Trust me."

Canoodling
It worked. OK, in the real world they probably didn't have advance notice. But they do have this very strange relationship, wherein sometimes Tilde lies on her back and Blue nuzzles her -- we call that the Venus phase -- and sometimes Blue nips at Tilde until she starts chasing him while snarling and (because apparently snarling tickles her nose) sneezing. That would be the Mars phase.

Jen and I went to see Indiana Jones. It was OK. Very fun in spots. Could have been shorter. Nice to see Karen Allen again. Loved Cate Blanchett's hair.
electricland: (Blue)
This weekend I bucked tradition and did not go up to the cottage with the rest of the family. Blue and I had a quiet weekend at home. (He has yet to see the cottage.) Almost too quiet. Saturday I went to the annual Beaches Garden Society sale (my uncle John was volunteering) and did what all the books say you should not do, i.e. wander around aimlessly without any kind of plan, saying "Oooh, that looks nice" and buying whatever caught my eye. I think I ended up with an OK selection despite this, and the prices were certainly right. It was a bit of a mixed bag, though. I spent the rest of the day creating a table listing plant name, height, spacing, colour, sunlight and moisture requirements, and anything else that seemed useful. Then I made another grid of height vs. sunlight requirements and put all my new purchases on it. Then I put the plants that are already in the garden on it, on the theory that if they've survived this long they're probably in OK conditions. Then I had a nap. Then I made a plan. Then I dithered for a while. I finally shoved the new plants in the ground yesterday -- we'll see how they do. Not one was over $7 and most of them were about $2.50, so I'm not too bothered.

Sunday I went to choir, an event remarkable in that I left Blue home alone with a voice recorder on (something I've been meaning to do for a while). I was gone almost 3 hours; there was a bout of intermittent howling for 10 or 12 minutes about 20 minutes after I left, and then complete silence. And he greeted me in complete silence without jumping up -- a minor miracle! He was wagging his entire body so that it was forming circles, and had a chewie in his mouth. It was extremely cute.

Monday I met [livejournal.com profile] pretentiousgit at Harbourfront for the Toronto International Circus Festival. An old acquaintance of mine, Seth Bloom -- we were kids together in Kenya, more than 20 years ago, and our parents have kept up and his parents now live in Rome -- was performing and I'd promised to come down. Very glad I did, as it was a great show. Was complaining that Harbourfront never seems to publicize its stuff very well -- does anyone else find that? Or is it just that I don't read the right papers? Anyway, it was great to catch up a little with Seth and meet his wife and fellow performer Christina. But it was COLD. [livejournal.com profile] pretentiousgit pointed out that it is not unknown for it to snow on Victoria Day weekend. But STILL.

The rest of the family came back from the cottage while I was out and kidnapped my dog, but they brought him back eventually. I bought groceries and Jen and I watched some Monarch of the Glen (season 2; we are going through in order).

Our Green Bin is in pitiful shape, i.e. barely bin-shaped at all. The raccoons got at it twice over the weekend.

I have much more work to do on the house, but all in all it was a decent weekend.
electricland: (robin - Beatrix Potter)
The problem with doing yoga once a week (on Thursdays. At lunch, in a spare office) is that I am spacey for the whole afternoon and very stiff and sore (good stiff and sore, though) the following day.

Hurray for Friday, though! It's gorgeous here. If I'd known it was going to go up to 25 I might have worn a skirt.

Followed instructions when picking up Blue yesterday evening with MIRACULOUS RESULTS. (Said instructions were: Call ahead to ask aunt & uncle to put him out in the back yard. Enter the house. Ask them to let him back in. Wait in the hall. Once he spots me, calmly pre-empt the customary BOUNCE! FLING! IT'S YOU! OMG OMG OMG! with high-value treats.* Have him sit. Keep on with the treats. And it WORKED.) Other dog owners have already commented on the change -- we saw the Golden that he hates this morning, and I took him into a driveway and had him sit and fed him treats and he was great, and the Golden's person remarked on how good he was being.

*Turkey franks and string cheese, in this case.
electricland: (Blue)
The long-awaited appointment with the dog behaviourist was last night. Went really well! Some highlights:

- Blue is a nice dog. (We knew this, but it's good to have outside confirmation.) Many of his behaviour issues are down to being a 2-year-old. He will eventually grow a brain, but probably not for another year or two.
- Even though I got him from the breeder, having bounced through several households he is functionally a rescue dog, and that also plays into the behaviour.
- She's not quite sure what's up with the separation anxiety, but we have a bunch of stuff to work on: here-you-stay-in-this-room-while-I-go-downstairs, practice tying up and going into stores a whole lot while on walks, leave for a few hours a day with some frozen bones to occupy him, etc.
- Lots and lots of work on manners, in the house and out. No bouncing around barking mindlessly and building up adrenaline. No greeting other dogs on leash. In the presence of other dogs, cats, squirrels, etc., give lots of space and keep him working.
- Italian meatballs are yummy.
- Tying his leash to my belt to free up my hands works astonishingly well.
- We'll be trying a citronella collar.

In other news, AAARGH TTC STRIKE. (Probably.)

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